A specialist buggy means little Neave Evans, from Great Harwood, Blackburn, will be able to get out and about with her family in safety and comfort.
Her parents need equipment that can be rear facing so they can make sure she doesn’t choke when she is sick and so she can see them whilst in her buggy. Neave hurts herself when stretching to see who is pushing her and needs the visibility at all times to comfort her.
Two-year-old Neave has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, is not able to talk and is fed through a tube in her stomach. Local wheelchair services provided her with a basic forward-facing special needs buggy. However, says mum Maxine Evans: “Overall, it’s not practical for Neave. When she extends to see us in her current chair it hurts and upsets her which is always distressing for us all as well as her being sick and blocking her airways being a constant worry.”
A visit to a special needs exhibition – called Kidz Up North – alerted Maxine and her husband to a specialist buggy, costing more than £3,000, which has a seat that can be forward or rear facing, has much-needed additional supports to keep Neave appropriately positioned and will recline to enable nappy changing.
Neave’s local wheelchair services offered a voucher for £1,460 – leaving her parents to find the outstanding £1,928. So they turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.
Newlife has awarded 248 grants for disabled and terminally ill children in Lancashire, totalling £401,273.
Recognising the urgency of the situation, Newlife fast-tracked an Equipment Grant of £1,928 for Neave – and the family are now due to take delivery of the new buggy.
Maxine said: “This will make a huge difference to family life. We will feel more confident about taking Neave out. It is a much higher spec piece of equipment so Neave will be more comfortable, she will get the postural support she needs and it will accommodate her for several years until she can go into a wheelchair.”
Newlife Equipment Grants went up by 33 per cent in 2013/14 to a UK total of £2,088,105 for the year. So Newlife is increasingly looking to ‘local heroes’ to donate or fundraise to help provide vital equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in their own counties. Newlife is currently working with another six families in Lancashire with equipment needs of £12,481.
To help meet rising demand across Lancashire, Newlife has appointed a regional Awareness and Fundraising Manager to help ensure continued support for families in the county.
David Reeves joined the charity this summer and said: “What attracted me to Newlife Foundation is the guarantee that 100 per cent of all funds donated or raised go directly to buy specialist equipment for children in need. People can designate which county their money is used in and because of the charity’s transparent accountability I can tell everyone exactly how their funds have been spent.”
David is keen to hear from any local individuals, social and community groups or business organisations which might consider supporting Newlife Foundation in Lancashire, either through fundraising or volunteering activities. He can be contacted on 07854 425 273 or by emailing [email protected].
Pictured: Neave Evans.